Bullied Teens More Likely to Have Health Problems Later

People bullied as teenagers are more likely to have problems with their health when they get older-particularly women.

That's the conclusion of a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, which found the trend to be true even when the bullying wasn't physical.

Researchers followed 662 Canadian youths for a decade, starting when they were between 12 and 19 years old. They found that both physical and emotional bullying was linked with health difficulties such as headaches, dizziness, backaches, insomnia, abdominal pain and poor body image.

To measure bullying, participants were asked questions such as how often they got pushed or shoved by peers and how often peers spread lies about them to make others dislike them. Researchers asked participants to rate how frequently they experienced problems such as headaches, dizziness and insomnia. To monitor body image, the teenagers rated how regularly they noticed they were physically healthy or felt particularly proud or uncomfortable with their body’s development.

Up to 52 percent of the boys reported experiencing physical bullying at least sometimes, as did more than 20 percent of girls. In addition, as much as two-thirds of the boys and more than half of the girls said were subjected to emotional taunts at least some of the time. About 1 to 2 percent of participants reported they were bullied all of the time.

Generally, the females reported more physical symptoms and poorer body image than the males throughout the study.

One limitation of the study is its predominantly white population, which may limit how much the findings apply to people of other races and ethnicities.

Don't miss this week's Slice of History--the first "drunkometer."

Sourced from: Reuters Health, Bullying during teen years linked to health problems as adults